Taking Names

“There’s a man going ’round taking names” – this old gospel influenced me in the sixties and motivated me to learn guitar playing and singing the blues. Maybe the reason is, that my life started 1945 in an orphanage. Aged three a man came to adopt me. But there was always corporal punishment day for day (18 long years) and I was not happy, that he took me and gave me his name. “There’s a man going ’round taking names” sung by Leadbelly, Josh White or Mungo Jerry – this ballad describes a slave seller, walking around in an African harbor with his paper list in his hand doing a devil’s job: catch a crowd of young men in Africa to ship them in chains to America’s cotton fields – this ballad seemed somehow to be the story of my life too…
version with Gernot Baur (harp):

version with Ian McAulay (e-guitar):

links to wikiloops:

comment at soundcloud:

Dar Mlodziezy, visitor from Poland

There’s a man going ’round taking names
There’s a man going ’round taking names
He’s been taking my father’s name
and he left my heart in vain
There’s a man going ’round taking names.

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